British soil used for jihadist activities

Damsana Ranadhiran

While it is well known to all of us that the United Kingdom has always been at the forefront of fighting terrorism and radical Islamic jihad, most definitely the British policymakers and Britons now need to answer the question as to why they have been allowing the British soil to some individuals in continuing jihadist activities.

Until 2008, there had been at least 200 indigenous active terrorist cells being monitored by the Security Service MI5 and MI6 with 4,000 British Muslims considered as a threat to national security. But the bone-chilling information had appeared in the Daily Mail in March this year. The newspaper said, a secret government report has warned that more than 3,000 British children are being taken to Pakistan each year and enrolled in extremist summer schools. The Home Office study says courses at Koranic madrassas teach a ‘glorified version of jihad’. Officials fear some youngsters will be radicalized and return to the United Kingdom with a warped ideology and pose a terrorism risk.

Two of the 7/7 bombers, Mohammad Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer, enrolled on madrassa courses in Pakistan a year before they launched their deadly attack in 2005, which killed 52 people. But the security services in Britain has established that some Pakistani parents take their children back to their native homeland during summer holidays under the pretext of visiting extended family. In reality, they sign up for lessons at some of Pakistan’s estimated 20,000 madrassas.

The report says some of those madrasas receive funds raised in Britain and that UK-based imams have established seminaries in their ancestral homeland.

It identifies three madrasas of concern – the Darul Uloom Haqqania (DUH) madrassa in the remote Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region bordering Afghanistan; the Jamia Binoria in Karachi and Jamiatul Uloom Ul Islamia in Azad Kashmir.

Each has denied involvement in extremism. The DUH madrasa has previously been labelled the ‘University of Jihad’ because former students include Asim Umar, an Al Qaeda leader, and it awarded an honorary doctorate to the former Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

There are also fears that British taxpayers may have inadvertently provided it with funds.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, which controversially handed a £2.2 million grant to the madrasa in 2016, will have received £283 million from Britain to help boost education when a ten-year project ends in 2020.

How about home-grown jihadists in Britain?

According to information, ninety-eight percent of the Muslims living in United Kingdom do send their children to local madrassas, which are mostly run by the community councils and mosques. A survey showed, over fifty percent of the males and females of Bangladesh origin, who either live in Britain or had migrated from some of the European nations have already been radicalized. These Muslims though are using Britain as a great place of better earning, they consider non-Muslim Britons, particularly Jews and Christians as their enemies. Some of the Muslim men and women are even engaged into ‘love jihad’, who actually trap the other sex through romantic pretention with the goal of getting them converted into Islam.

Since 2009, a Bangladeshi family has been living in United Kingdom and is almost openly continuing jihadist and illegal activities.  Md. Shahid Uddin Khan (Army No: BA002428, Course: 8-BMA, Commission Date: 10-06-1983) and his wife and daughter currently are continuing activities sitting in United Kingdom. On January 17, 2019, Dhaka residence of Md. Shahid Uddin Khan was raided by the members of the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of Bangladesh Police.

CTTC, based on secret information, raided House No. 184, Road No. 2, Baridhara DOHS in Dhaka, Bangladesh on January 17, 2019. This house is owned by Md. Shahid Uddin Khan and was allegedly used as a warehouse for arms, explosives and propaganda materials of Islamic State (ISIS). During the raid, large volume of weapons, detonator, counterfeit Bangladesh currency notes and jihadist materials of ISIS were recovered by the CTTC unit.

Following this recovery, three separate cases against ISIS-funder Md. Shahid Uddin Khan, his wife Farjana Anjum, daughters and other accomplices were lodged. The cases are: Cantonment PS, Case no 10, Section-6(2)/7/11/12 of Anti Terrorism Act 2009 (amendment 2013); Cantonment PS,  Case no 11, Section-25-A,  Special Power Act 1974; and Cantonment PS, Case no 12, Section-19-A of Arms Act 1878.

In 2009, he invested two million pounds in the United Kingdom in exchange of obtaining immigrant status under Visa Tier 1, vide VAF No. 511702. Later the family had laundered an unknown amount of money and brought that into the United Kingdom.

Sitting in Britain, Md. Shahid Uddin Khan and his family are not only funding Islamic State (ISIS), but they also are helping other jihadist outfits such as Hamas.

Main culprit who funded Sri Lanka jihadist attacks:

According to media reports, four months before the Sri Lanka attacks, ISIS funder Md. Shahid Uddin Khan had sent large amount of money to his Colombo-based jihadist contact via Dubai. Khan has been living in the United Kingdom for last few years along with his family. Sitting in Britain, Khans are continuing various forms of jihadist activities. Recently he has established an organization named ‘Astha’ which aims at unseating democratically elected governments in the world and replace those with Caliphate. By now, Md. Shahid Uddin Khan already has expanded his activities in Sweden and the United States through two of his recruits.

According to documents available with various intelligence agencies in Bangladesh, Md. Shahid Uddin Khan hails from a radical Muslim family while his wife Farjana Anjum too hails from a similar family background. This couple’s daughters though are living and being educated in Britain is notoriously radicalized and is working as lone wolves. They have been targeting various individuals and trying to convert them into Islam.

In January this year, Md. Shahid Uddin Khan used illegal channel in transferring an amount equivalent to ninety-two thousand dollars. This amount went from Dubai to Colombo. It may be mentioned here that, last year this newspaper published several reports exposing a secret conspiracy by a conglomerate of several jihadist outfits of staging terrorist attacks in a number of South Asian nations.

Damsana Ranadhiran is a retired intelligence official.

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